付費內容回來了:Paying for Content is Back

Photo credit: 世界公民文化中心提供

原文刊登於英語島雜誌 2017 年 6 月號,作者 Nikki Lu,INSIDE 獲授權轉載。更多資訊請見 世界公民文化中心粉絲專頁

網路時代的讀者習慣免費獲取資訊,但過去一年來,付費閱讀內容竟似乎行得通了,哪些趨勢使得付費閱讀的比例提高、我們如何掌握應用?進入本文前,請先試著說出這些字的英文:

(A) 阻力 (B) 小眾的 (C) 轉換

More consumers seem to be paying for content these days. This could be a part of the millennial culture, as Patreon’s CEO, Jack Conte says: “This new generation is more concerned with social impact. There’s a desire to vote with your dollars and your time and attention." However, Hunter Walk, former product manager of YouTube and Co-founder of the VC Homebrew, indicates that several other trends have converged at the same time to enable this direct payment (vs. ad supported).

近來消費者似乎更願意為內容付費,這是千禧世代的文化特色,如群眾募資平台  Patreon CEO Jack Conte 所說:「新一代更在乎社會影響力,他們用金錢、時間和注意力來支持該理念。」不過,前  YouTube 產品經理,現在是創投公司合夥人的  Hunter Walk 認為,使用者願意直接為內容付費(相對於讀免費內容、看廣告主付費的廣告),也要歸因於幾項趨勢。

Comfort With Online Payment 

消費者已習慣線上付費 

Amazon, the iOS App Store, and e-commerce in general have created a critical mass of consumers comfortable with online payments. Additionally, the (A) friction of paying online has been reduced to one-click stored credentials, Touch ID and so on.

AmazoniOS App Store 及大多的電子商務,已創造出眾多習慣線上付費的消費者。而且,線上支付的阻力已降到極低,有了一鍵儲存付款資料、 Touch ID 指紋辨識付款等等。

Paying Creators, Not Corporations 

付費給創作者而不是企業

It’s never been easier to pay creators directly (or to feel like you’re supporting them personally) rather than having to transact through a middleman. This is thanks to crowdfunding/support services like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Patreon, and Indiegogo; direct transaction via Stripe; marketplaces like Etsy; and tipping-based platforms like Twitch… I’m thrilled to give Ben Thompson $100 for his newsletter. It feels very different from paying $100 to News Corp. This is another reason why brand and authenticity matter so much.

不須透過中間人交易、直接付費給創作者(或者感覺自己支持的是創作者個人)現在再簡單不過,有群眾募資網站如  KickstarterGoFundMePateron 以及  Indiegogo;有直接交易服務如 Stripe;線上市場如 Etsy;打賞機制如 Twitch…。我非常樂意支付 100 美金讀  Ben Thompson 的電子報。這和付  100 美金給新聞企業的感覺是很不同的。這也是為什麼品牌和真實性這麼重要的一個原因。

Niche Content Needs Higher Income Per Consumer

小眾內容需要從單一客戶獲得更高收入

The internet enables (B) niche content. The reality is that many creators have no choice but to ask directly

for dollars from their audience because ad revenue alone wouldn’t be enough to support niche content. You make, at most, a few bucks annually off your most enthusiastic users if you’re just showing them ads. Maybe you’ll make a few bucks more if you have affiliate deals that (C) convert. Just one $10 payment, (1) let alone, say $3/month, has a much greater LTV (Lifetime Value).

網際網路使小眾內容得以存在。現實是,很多創作者別無選擇,必須直接向閱聽眾收費,因為小眾內容只憑廣告收入是無法生存的,你每年頂多從最狂熱的用戶獲得些許廣告收入,廣告成功轉換交易則可能再多一些進帳。向單一會員收取每月  美元,甚至只是單筆  10 美元,其生命週期價值更高。

Google & Facebook Aren’t About Transactions

交易不是  Google 和  Facebook 關注重點

OK, here’s something that’s a bit subtle. Facebook and Google, as advertising networks, don’t really do transactions well and don’t want to make them a focus. They would much rather convince content owners to monetize via ads. Why? They can increase the revenue from advertising solutions over time by creating more inventory, more advertiser demand and increased targeted marketing effectiveness. These all happen without taxing the consumer and with minimal involvement from the content creator. Also, if they can increase ad effectiveness over time they’ll earn larger budgets and more attention from advertisers and publishers."

這一點比較微妙。 Facebook 和  Google 作為廣告網路,並沒有真正做好交易、也未把重心擺在交易這一塊。它們寧願說服內容擁有者通過廣告變現。為什麼?因為成長空間大。它們可以創造更多廣告資源、更多客戶需求和更有針對性的效果來增加廣告方案的收入。這些都不需對消費者收費,而且內容創作者的參與程度最小。此外,如果能使廣告效果越來越好,它們會獲得廣告主、發布者更多的預算和關注。

1. Let alone 更別說是

She can’t even fry an egg, let alone cook a meal.

她連蛋都不會煎,更別說是煮一餐了。

每個用戶(購買者、會員、使用者)在未來可能為該服務帶來的收益總和。

這篇文章 付費內容回來了:Paying for Content is Back 最早出現於 INSIDE 硬塞的網路趨勢觀察